Tater tots





Man, these are good. Better than I thought they would be. I had Tater tots once and they were all the eh. I never bought any that I recall. Not my sort of thing. But these are outstanding. They're like gnocchi without the egg. The flavor that they have is the flavor you put into them. I used grated onion and garlic.

The idea is same as with gnocchi, to use as little flour as possible. For these three small potatoes I used two tablespoons of flour. 

bacon and egg sandwich with cheese and sautéed onion and sauerkraut

On homemade bread, of course. Duh.


Omurice


Another example of yōshoku, western-influenced Japanese food, this one based on French-style omelet with fried rice, thus omu + rice.

Often served with catsup for sauce. In this Buzzfeed video, where I got the idea, the chef uses a reduced veal stock, undoubtedly flavored with a few of the 7 magical Asian flavor ingredients. We can get a similar thing by reducing commercial beef broth to half and adding a few ingredients from the list. 

I used commercial tomato soup with roasted red pepper because that's what I like. It goes into both the fried rice and on top of the omelet.

Pepperoni pizza

With mushrooms, 2 types, olives and tinned jalapeño. The pepperoni is cut distressingly thin so the slices rolled up into little tubes.

The bread is made with semolina and bread flour and it has olive oil in it. That produces a cracker-like crust.

You know, I've never managed to make the same pizza twice. I'm not sure I'm capable.

The fresh jalapeños are not hot so tinned jalapeños are taking their place. Nearly this entire tin was used and that made just the right amount of capsaicin heat. All the flavors come through nicely, two separate cheeses are both tasted, both mushroom types are tasted separately, the salty olives punch through, the sweet onion is actually tasted. The pepperoni is tasted as separate entity, whereas they would not were they kept as thin slices. The oil they released is absorbed by the mushrooms by different degrees, so each separate mushroom tasted slightly different from the others by the amount of oil the slice absorbed. I like this pizza a lot. It's actually better than any pizza that I've ever bought even though I learned by copying them.










13" Pullman loaf, tuna salad sandwich



I am really digging this pan.

The trick for 13" pan is start with 1+2/3 cup liquid, water, scalded milk, combination of those, whatever. 

This has potato flakes processed to powder, 3/4 stick of butter and honey. 

5 Cups flour. I used 4.5 scooped cups. 






tuna salad

Real tuna, bread and butter pickle, sweet onion, celery, lemon, mayonnaise.



Wheat tea

So far, I gave two brewing lessons as gifts and participated in both. These are relatively expensive gifts and both parties appreciated it greatly. We had a blast both times and I'd very much like doing it again. Totally worth it and relatively inexpensive so far as cost of education. Compare that with University and it's a bargain at 10X the cost. But that's because University is ridiculously expensive. Information wants to be free! And it is free on the internet. But learning from the internet, you don't end up with ten gallons of beer as part of the deal.

Problem is, I don't like beer that much.

In both lessons we taste-tested the beer in progress. First while the wheat brew is near finished steeping, and again after the hops is added. In both cases, (all four times) I thought, Man, I really like this stuff better than fermented beer. It's sweeter before the yeast consumes all the sugar. It makes a great tea, actually better than tea made from tea leaves, and better tasting than coffee.

At home I have only regular wheat grain to mill into flour for bread. But this place directly below my apartment, CoBrew, has some thirty or so varieties of grain. Maybe more. Their grain is mostly barley and that will do the same thing as wheat. Their grain is malted, that is, dampened and allowed to germinate, then toasted to stop the germination activity. That germination process releases enzymes that begins to break down the grain so that its potential for growing into a wheat plant is activated. We decided this discovery that germination improves beer was made by accident, most likely by early beer brewers having their wheat become wet, and roasting it to stop the germination, then using the grain anyway.  Brewing concerns toast their purchased grain to varying degrees in this malting process. Very much like coffee beans are toasted for varying intensities and complexities of flavor. You can even do this yourself at home, fix poorly roasted coffee beans by roasting them further in a pan just as they do, to increase the flavor. The grains make excellent tea, brewed in the exact same ways of tea and coffee.

I have no idea why toasted wheat tea isn't more popular. Why isn't it the most popular thing? I like it better than tea and coffee that are just flat gross by comparison, and with their psychophysical reactive qualities that veritably disqualify themselves. They stain your teeth, they coat your tongue, give you bad breath, they affect your nerves and when the wheat version is fermented to beer then it makes you drunk. Gawl! Who even wants those things? Crazy people do. I'm surrounded by crazy people who all want the wrong things. Fallen down drunks and jittery nervous wrecks. Come on!

Smoke a joint already, if you must, and get over yourselves already. Have a cup of nice pleasant roasted wheat tea.

It's almost like miso, except miso is also fermented. And salted.



See? Each bin has its own little flag for country of origin.
The numbers indicate intensity of malt flavor imparted.

My wheat-tea is fine from grain that is not roasted. But it's even better when it's been malted. Like tea and coffee there is a very broad range to choose from. Some of these grains are roasted so heavily they're actually black and they taste terrible by themselves. Others like the kind my friends chose are milder and a lot more pleasant as tea.

I'm going down there right now and buy a couple pounds of malted grain for tea. And possibly for bread. We'll see how well it works.

deep fried shrimp patty, sandwich


Shame to do this to jumbo shrimp but it's all that I had.




The mixture needs work. No bread crumbs, and it should be sweeter, more sea-food-like. Next time I'll make a concoction with dashi and mirin. And leave out the carrots. I like the celery.

The sauce needs improvement too. This fried shrimp sandwich journey has only just begun.

snack French fries




I've been disappointed in the two-fry method resulting in soggy French fries after all that trouble. One time I saw Paula Dean demonstrate her two-fry technique. Viewers who counted noticed she actually fried them three times. So I tried that tonight and it worked.

The last fry at higher temperature the idea is go until the bubbles nearly stop indicating there is no more moisture inside the potatoes that will migrate to the surface and turn them limp. But you don't want to eliminate all the moisture or else they'll turn into hard unpleasant potato-cardboard.

Overloaded pizza





* olive oil
* tomato sauce
* tinned jalapeño for heat.
* sweet onion
* red bell pepper
* mozzarella
* salami
* baby portobello mushrooms
* shitake mushrooms
* kalamata olives
* fresh jalapeño (not hot enough)

To be honest, that's just too much crap for a pizza, but sometimes I cannot constrain myself.


tamago sushi

Obi sushi. On account of the band of nori resembling an obi for a kimono.


Those five little eggs were both breakfast and dinner today.

precious little breakfast, eggs, ham and toast

Tomagoyaki. Japanese dashi egg roll. Rolled egg, not the usual stuffed egg roll. The beaten eggs are mixed with mirin, sugar, and dashi. And these light flavor enhancements make all the difference in the world. More so than the unusual pan. YouTube videos demonstrate the same ingredients and the same technique using a circular pan.


* 1 tablespoon mirin
* 1 level tablespoon sugar
* 4 tablespoons dashi (that's 1/4 cup. YouTube demonstration uses 1/2 cup for 6 eggs. My eggs today are unusually small)


I cannot do the flip technique. It's a left-handed flip guided by chopsticks in the right hand. Nothing flips when I try it. So far I've failed.


Ham and bread fried in the same pan. Bread toasted with the same oil instead of butter. 

The photo reminds me of the flying toasters screensaver.

Only 1/3 of the tomagoyaki was used here. The remaining 2/3 is chilled, probably for sushi later. The thing is, I'm meeting with two friends to brew 10 gallons of beer at 11:00, during the lull I'll order a pizza. So that's coming up in a few hours and I wanted something light. This amounts to 1.5 eggs, 3 thin slices of sandwich ham and 1 small square of toast.

Sautéed Napa cabbage, mushrooms and pork


Shitake and baby portobello mushrooms



Ham sandwich




I'm pleased with this bread. Pleased with the purchase of the Pullman pan. I kept the bread out on a dare, fully expecting it to be covered with mold by now. It's wrapped in plastic and kept very well for a week and that's very unusual in Denver.

Reasonably, half could be frozen to protect it. I think that's what I'll do next time. It makes excellent sandwiches. Even simple ones like this.

Candied orange peel


Blanched twice. Then cooked in simple syrup.

pozole, bacon, cheese, two eggs over easy


I destroyed four coffee bean mills by processing hard corn kernels and pozole to powder. This time I soaked the pozole overnight to spare the new coffee bean mill. It worked very well. The machine tore through the softened kernels easily. 

The kernels did not swell so much as expected. I don't know how much water they absorbed. Usually cooking the powder with  3.5  X  water makes the right consistency. This time I used 1.5 X and the cooked mixture stayed wet.

It cooked very quickly. Boiled in the microwave less than 3 minutes. (It's a new microwave)




The mixture with s/p and butter tastes bland, but with the distinct flavor of pozole.




Two eggs fried over easy in the bacon fat. 


What an outstanding meal and so easy. It makes an impressive side dish too for a dinner party. I wrote this before, but I'll say it again, the day following a dinner party my nephew said, "What? I had grits last night? Because I don't eat no grits." 

Butcha ah, Blanch. Ya ah eating grits.

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